Aren’t we all waiting on something right now? Perhaps especially right now we’re all linked in waiting in the midst of this pandemic we currently find ourselves swept up in. We’re waiting and we don’t know for how long. In light of this it just felt like the appropriate season in which to share some photos of a family that has waited a long time for the relief of bringing their third child home. I feel the wait in these photos. I felt the wait while taking these photos. I also am highly aware of the distinct resilience and strength present in this family that came from much waiting, much loss, much grief and much persevering.

And I felt their distinct joy that came after too.

Although your waiting might be quite different than their waiting (or perhaps for some of you, quite similar), my hope is that you can be encouraged in whatever your wait is as well.

 in-home momma + baby mini session

This has just been one of those family sessions that has been stuck in my mind since I took these images. I think it’s partly because the flow of the session was unlike any I had done before. I always coach my family clients to think through what portions of this particular season of their lives are especially meaningful to them. What part of your days is your most favorite? Which part will you be saddest to see go? What do you want to remember about this specific interval of time?  Then let’s document those things. Most often I come for a session and the entire family is gathered  together ready to spend time together (which is great!) but for this session we wanted to document a bit of Jen’s homeschool time with her boys, the often-looked-forward-to event that is dad coming home from work at the end of day, and then some family time altogether after that. I love the natural storytelling flow that this set up offered for our time together — the day-in-the-life approach was so literal to their days together. I also just think that the love this family emits towards each other and those around them is something so special, which is most likely another reason these photos have stuck with me so much that I’m blogging them a year after taking them.

Enjoy a peek into the Windle family in-home session last year.

This was my third time to photograph these two and goodness gracious it just doesn’t get old, not even close. We met up at sunrise in honor of their second year of marriage and you guys, I was literally yelling “IT’S LIKE A MICHAEL BAY MOVIE RIGHT NOW!!” because the solar flares/general epic-ness this particular sunrise and SHELBY AND CAMERON were putting out into the world.

Thank you for letting me document your love, yet again, Shelby and Cameron. Y’all know I’m game to photograph you two a hundred years more or as long as you’ll have me.

2019. Man. A year in review blogpost serves lots of purposes. First, it gets a whole lot of images that would have never seen the light of day (beyond the client galleries/homes of course) onto my blog. Since becoming a mom-of-two my work hours got cut down by about three quarters. I never knew how quickly I could edit until my main editing hours became those I used waking up before the kids woke up, nap time and then the hours after they go to bed. I learned I could be HIGHLY EFFICIENT and honestly do just as thorough an editing job before. If 2015 Jillian could see 2019 Jillian edit she’d be REAL real impressed. But it does mean my blogging time is nearly non-existent. HENCE my massive year in review post that, at the very least, shows you I’m still working 🙂 The second purpose of a year in review blogpost is for me to reflect on the previous year’s weddings and portrait sessions. GOODNESS GRACIOUS so much thankfulness washes over me as I look through these images and think about these souls who’ve entrusted me with something so precious as recording their memories on such special days. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all my clients this past year. Thank you for your trust. Thank you for connecting with me and my work out of the hundredsssss and hundreds of other photographers out there. It means so much to me. If I wasn’t afraid the length of my text would keep you from actually getting to the photo portion of this post I’d keep going. But know, from the bottom of my heart, I am so appreciative of you.

Now on to the photos!

Kicked off 2019 with Connor and Allie’s wedding at The Nest at Ruth Farms. This is one of the *two* full weddings I got up on my blog last year (*Jillian hides in corner in shame*) so if you’d like to see more images from this lovely day feel free to click here for a whole bunch more.

This sweet January babe has just celebrated her FIRST birthday — I can hardly believe it looking at these photos from Sutton’s newborn session.

I love me a family session in homes full of windows and love like the Windle family.

Then came the engagement sessions — I loved each and every one of ’em.

My first time to photograph the lovely Katy was at her bridal session and I knew we were kindred sprits when she started to tear up during her session when I asked her to think about marrying her (now husband) Ryan.

I only did one round of mini sessions in 2019 (after three rounds in 2018) — here were a few of my favorites from that stormy day of sessions at The Lumen Room.

Lily + Nick eloped at the Japanese Gardens and I so enjoyed their quiet little ceremony + wandering the garden together for a bit afterwards.

Katy + Ryan’s got married at the Hall of State in April and a full blogpost from their wedding will be up soon because I have a really hard time narrowing down photos of people as expressive as these two. This first image is Katy’s (now, but at the time very-soon-to-be) step-son’s helping dry her tears after she read the letters + drawings they made for her to read on the morning of the wedding. Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet. More to come from this one.

You’ll note from this teeny preview from Jessica + Sal’s engagement session that I REALLY like photographing these two in a close up hahaha. I just love them so much I couldn’t step further away from them!! (I did, however, put plenty of further back ones in their gallery haha all my favorites just happened to be pretty extreme close ups hahaha).

Oh sweet Katie and Jacob. These two flew me out for their California wedding last May and we kicked off photos with some portraits before their rehearsal dinner.

More portrait sessions — summer engagements, an equestrian shoot (!) and a sunrise newborn session to welcome the third little Vanderpool child.

Aynav + Adam — goodness gracious these two (and their Houston wedding at The Crystal Ballroom) just make me smile.

I had fun at Melanie + Michael’s engagement session playing with shadows and sunset reflections.

No smiles can compete with Lauren and Billy’s smiles, I’m thoroughly convinced. Also that last picture of he and his mom singing through their mother-son dance at the reception is one of my favorites.

Cynthia + Bryan’s June wedding was full of family, mariachi and perhaps my personal favorite detail, her handmade veil from Mexico.

This was my first wedding to photograph at Hidden Waters in Waxahachie and it was such a treat for my first wedding here to be Emily and Trent’s.

You guys, it had been a hot minute since I’d had the joy of documenting a proposal but Casey and Samuel’s at Klyde Warren Park had me feeling all kinds of feelings.

Ahhhhh Ameena + Sahir — it’s almost laughable for me to try and narrow down my favorites from their three-day wedding at The Dallas Renaissance so feel free to check out their full blogposts here, here and here (hey, I told you it was three days!).

In August I had the joy to photograph the lovely Tori at The Lumen Room.

Marion + David were so expressive during their ceremony and I COULD NOT HANDLE the cuteness.

Fun fact: I went straight from Taylor + Ryan’s Dallas engagement session (so. much. fun.) to the hospital to photograph a dear friend’s baby being born. Now THAT is a good day.

Brooke + Gordon on White Rock Lake, what dreams are made of.

Y’all, this is coming to a blog near you REAL soon. The last time I photographed portraits of these two (outside of their wedding day) we hit up the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise and these sunrise portraits for their second anniversary were (IMO) equally as epic. Texas was showin’ OFF that morning.

Tori and Paul — two of the nicest humans around and now they’re married.

I PHOTOGRAPHED THEIR WEDDING AND NOW THEY HAVE A BABY NAMED LUCA AND I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING!!

Baby Henry, your aunt Jillian lovvvvvvvvvvves you.

It’s just. I have no words. I loved this day. I love shooting at Cliff House. I love Erin + Kevin and all their people (and their pup).

Taylor + Micah were married at Knotting Hill Place and danced the night away under a full moon.

Chelsea + Patrick are TOP NOTCH. I want to shout it again TOP NOTCH!! Their wedding at The Fort Worth Zoo was so beyond fun, like these two. I also always, always love working with Jen Rios Weddings and, fun fact, this was our second wedding together at the zoo!

Isn’t it so nice to see people you knew growing up so HAPPY? Does the soul good. It was a privilege to document this jr-and-high-school-friend of mine marry the love of her life in October.

Okay one of my favorite memories of this day was when the groom couldn’t find parking around their wedding venue (which was at The Dallas Farmer’s market on a Saturday) so he went back to the AirBnB and rode one of those rented scooters to his wedding. Still cracks me up each time I see that photo — I just happened to be scouting for their first look when he pulled up with two of his groomsmen on those scooters and I’m SO glad I was there to document.

Too many favorite parts of Taylor + Ryan’s wedding day to even recount — the super touching toasts and Taylor’s dad barely holding it together during the father-daughter dance are at the top for me.

My last wedding of 2019 and MAN did it end with a BANG with Jessica + Sal’s wedding. There is no way I could possibly condense the beauty of this day into a few images but here’s me trying my best. Cloud Creative Events and Moss Floral went above and beyond on this one.

Oh hey, we moved to South Dakota. Surprise. I’m still shooting DFW weddings (I feel the need to compulsively say that each time I share the SD news with people). This was my very first shoot ever in the snow. I loved getting to document a bit of the Carlin’s pregnancy.

Remember Casey and Samuel? From the proposal up there? Well I ended the year with their December engagement session and it was peachy as all get out.

If you made it to the end of this post *HIGH FIVE* Thank you for caring. For supporting. And for listening to my rambling. I’m ending this year in review with a few of my favorite personal photos from the year featuring YOU GUESSED IT my family. They mean the world to me. And I think that should matter to you, prospective clients. If you know I love and treasure my family then you know that I understand the importance of documenting yours — your first day of your new family on your wedding day, your newborn days, your big-kid running wild days. They matter. And I care a whole big bunch, about my family AND yours.

SO MUCH LOVE TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU,

xoxo Jillian

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